Baidu and Pony.ai turn into first robotaxi companies to function with out security drivers in Beijing

Baidu and Pony.ai have been given permission to function their autonomous autos with out security drivers in Beijing, a primary for robotaxi companies in China (by way of CNBC). Though each firms now now not want a employees member within the driver’s seat, they’ll nonetheless want a supervisor current someplace within the automobile.

Baidu and Pony.ai can’t function all through the whole metropolis of Beijing simply but — they’re restricted to a 60 sq. kilometer (23.1 sq. mile) space in Yizhuang, Beijing, the house of about 300,000 residents. Whereas Baidu can deploy simply 10 autonomous autos within the space, CNBC says Pony.ai can solely function 4. Each firms have plans to develop the variety of autos on the highway (with Baidu capturing for 30), nevertheless it’s unclear how quickly that may occur.

Beijing authorities started allowing Baidu and Pony.ai to cost for his or her robotaxi companies within the Yizhuang space of Beijing final November, though the town initially required each companies to have a security driver behind the wheel. Based on TechCrunch, riders can hail both robotaxi service by Baidu’s Apollo Go app from 10AM to 4PM, or with Pony.ai’s PonyPilot Plus app from 9AM to 5PM.

Final week, the Toyota-backed Pony.ai turned the first autonomous car company to win a taxi license in China. It obtained permission to function 100 autos in Nansha, Guangzhou, and says a security driver will probably be on board for a brief time frame. Pony.ai has been approved to check its autonomous autos with out security drivers in three California cities as effectively, however this permit was suspended after one in all its automobiles collided with a middle divider.

Baidu, the corporate behind the huge Chinese language search engine of the identical title, was additionally granted approval to test its vehicles without safety drivers in Sunnyvale, California. It joins various different autonomous automobile firms, like Waymo and Cruise, that may function totally driverless autos on the streets of California.

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